Mission: To facilitate accessible and equitable primary care in Quebec through telemedicine.
Vision: A province where everyone has immediate access to care at the click of a button.
Values: Integrity, Compassion and Innovation
Access to primary health care in the province of Quebec is at an all time low, ranking last in the country, despite Quebec having the 3rd highest ratio of physicians per capita. This poor access to primary care results in an influx of patients visiting the Emergency Room in order to seek care, in turn creating more pressure on the overall healthcare system and its resources. This can be attributed to the undefined points of access to care provided between private or public clinics, family medicine groups, hospitals and walk in clinics. These issues with access to primary care most affect those with low socioeconomic status, students, immigrants and rural populations in Quebec. Lack in access to primary care has been shown to lead to poor health outcomes overall and decreased quality of life and life expectancy. The implementation of a structured telemedicine tool that works within the healthcare system has the potential to revolutionize how patients access care in the province.
We propose a telemedicine application designed exclusively for the needs of Quebec to help combat this social challenge of poor access to primary healthcare in the province. In a pre-design phase, we conducted a survey with over hundred respondents to better understand the individual healthcare needs of Quebecers. The survey revealed that 62% of respondents describe their healthcare experience as poor and often having issues finding care. 57% responded to frequenting a private clinic to avoid wait times and poor service, while 43% describe frequenting the doctor 2-3 times per year. It is clear from these results that Quebecers are unsatisfied with their healthcare and there is massive opportunity for a new tool to revolutionize the system. In most cases the types of care delivered is as simple as face to face communication to obtain a prescription, medical note or general health advice. In fact, 76% of respondents detailed one of their top reasons for frequenting the doctor is to refill or consult about a prescription.
Introducing a telemedicine application to link Quebec physicians to patients in Quebec in need of medical consultation would severely reduce the swelling on the Quebec healthcare system as well as better direct patients to the type of care they require. ConnectSanté would recruit physicians who desire to be on the leading edge of telemedicine by providing a few hours of care through the app weekly based on the physician’s schedule. Recruitment of physicians would be on going to ensure 24-hour access to a physician through the app, seven days a week. On the other side, patients would be able to select a video consult appointment based off their own busy schedule, that matches with a physician in Quebec’s schedule. 90% of respondents cited “ability to schedule appointments on my own schedule” as the most attractive feature of this proposed app. Video consultations would allow for the physician to provide general medical knowledge, consult on on going illness, provide medical notes and prescriptions without the patient having to leave the comfort of their own home. This of course if appealing to those who have difficulties accessing primary care for a multitude of reasons, students, immigrants, rural population and those with chronic illness who are bedridden and the elderly in their homes. 58% of respondents agreed that they would use this app initially depending on the severity of the medical concern at the time.